Cambodia Trips Angkor Wat Khmer and Beach Holidays

Cambodia trips and beach holidays

Cambodia trips open the view for new holidays destinations in particular Angkor and beaches. The country combines several interesting subjects, first culture oriented travel to Angkor Wat, Thom and other places. In 2013 about 4.5 million visitors enjoyed the trip to this exotic Asia country. 

Visiting the beaches at the South China Coast and the untouched nature which is still around in the south west and north east plus great people who are quite different to their neighbors. We also bring some information about the Khmer culture most travelers come here to experience or at least to have a look for. 

Culture oriented trips are mostly to Angkor Wat and Thom plus a couple of smaller temple cluster such as Phnom Chisor, the National Museum in Phnom Penh and more.

The country is for sure a coming "heavy weight" in the South East Asian tourist scene and will see a sharp increase in travel when the SEA countries lift their border restrictions in 2015. 


Cambodia beach holiday
Cambodia beach holiday at Koh Kong

Angkor Wat   Angkor Thom   Phnom Penh   Phnom Chisor   Siem Reap

Sihanoukville   Koh Kong    Kep and Kampot    Central Market      


Bangkok to Siem Reap     Phnom Penh to Bangkok




More about Cambodia holiday
Cambodia Apsara Dancing
Khmaer dancer at Angkor Wat

Phnom Chisor
Phnom Chisor


Phnom Chisor Buddha Temple
Phnom Chisor Buddha Temple












Once you have been here you will come back again since it is a unique and pleasant atmosphere and a pristine tropical environment with a pleasant Buddhist philosophy and nice people. 

Although they had the mess of some lunatic communists who where controlled by even more mad red Chinese and some spots of French lefties, it' over now. When you talk with local people don't warm up this stuff, that's the last they want to hear.


Angkor Face Tower
Angkor Face Tower
Cambodia Trips with the Elephant
Cambodia Trips 
with the Elephant
Beaches are at the South China Seafront around Sihanoukville, Koh Kong, Kep and Kampot. Plenty of pristine nature is still around and a interesting capital is waiting to be explored.


Cambodia beach holiday at Sihanoukville
Holiday at Sihanoukville

Ochheuteal Beach
Ochheuteal Beach

Beach infrastructure is very rudimentary although there are beautiful waterfronts but only very few hotels and resorts. 



Waterfall at Bokor National Park
Waterfall at Bokor National Park

Koh Poi River Trip in the south
Koh Poi River Trip in the south
Dirt biking at Sre Ambel
Dirt biking at Sre Ambel










Holiday in Cambodia are easy to handle since the country is rather small and buses are available from Phnom Penh to every corner in the kingdom. 


Beach holiday in Cambodia
Beach at Koh Kong
Holiday at Ochheuteal beach
Waterfront at Ochheuteal beach
It is also easy to rent a car or a scooter and do it on your own but this is very dangerous since there are no traffic rules and if there is an accident there are no real hospitals outside the big cities. A popular variant are "dirt bike tours" which are somehow interesting because most roads are in real bad conditions anyway.

People are very friendly and cooperative and quite a lot speak reasonable English, actually more than in neighboring Thailand. 


Angkor Thom Temple Ruine
Angkor Thom Temple Ruine
Angkor Wat Front View
Angkor Wat Front View


Siem Reap Nightlife

The old market with "Pub Street" is the center of all nightlife in the city

Some hotel nightclubs are around but are rather secondary. When the sun disappears Pup Street awakes and that's the center of the old market. Here are the bars, restaurants, nightclubs, discos, dinner show and everything in between. Pub Street is somehow like Bangkok's Khao San Street but less chaotic, everyone has fun that's the most important,most of the places are owned by "western foreigners" that means less cheating although some still do it. 


Pub Street at Old Market in Siem Reap


The Temple Nightclub
The Temple Club
Nightlife at Pub Street
Nightlife at Pub Street












Temple Club Siem Reap
Temple Club in Siem Reap
Many bars to choose, among other the Angkor What Bar?  Another is the Temple Club probably one of the most "user friendly" in the local nightlife business since it includes a restaurant upstairs with a free dinner show, a nice place with slow motion dancing but also very fast native dances, Cambodians like it both ways, the fast stuff looks more contemporary.

Absolute top notch since where you get anything for free
Cambodian Dance
Cambodian Dance
anymore these days? The dancers are real good; this is not a cheap "wishi-washi". First they run the slow motion show and after the fast run both with pleasant Khmer music in the back coming from a whole native orchestra, no computer playback, all natural.


That's the way it actually should be, check the pictures accessible through the link and don't forget the ads they are amazing informative.

This establishment as a somehow universal place where everything for a great integrated, dance show upstairs, bar disco, pool etc. at street level, prices are also rather moderate, actually in the country pricing is very similar to Thailand it looks as if they take the neighbor as benchmark.

In 1998 the Angkor What bar was the very first on Pub Street,


Pub Street
Pub Street seen from Angkor What Bar

a lively nightspot and beer source with tourists graffiti at the walls. 

The place is well known and market in any tourist guide which naturally brings customers, a nice beer source after an exhaustive day visiting temples and monuments, prices are, as practically everywhere, except the big hotels, very "user friendly".



Cambodia Airport Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and has the major airport

There are two international airports in the country, Phnom Penh is the first and the other is at Siem Reap for Angkor. 

The throughput is quick, first you are guided to pay the visa fee and deliver the passport. This only takes a few minutes and you are through, Don't think about money change, this is dollar only country, the Riel is only for the Cambodians and used as small money to adjust.


Approaching Phnom Penh Airport
Approaching Phnom Penh Airport



Phnom Penh Airport Arrival
Phnom Penh Airport Arrival

Currently (2014) two airports are operating, beside of this one is Siem Reap which is more or less Angkor. This is the gateway to northwest Cambodia. There are two helicopter services
Phnom Penh Airport Departure Hall
Phnom Penh Airport Departure Hall
offering round trips around the greater Angkor area. 


If you can set aside around $ 2XX,- you should make this
Phnom Penh Airport Departure
Phnom Penh Airport Departure
flight, that's the optical "cream". The longer flight includes extended exploring in north direction with waterfall, jungle and more monuments.


Phnom Penh airport 


receives flight from various destinations in Asia such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore’s Changi. They all have cheap flights available, a different story it was with flights to Siem Reap which was a real hit and run high price business as long as Bangkok Air had the monopoly, they really milked the foreigners shameless, after that was ended there is no more cheat since they got competition from Air Asia.When coming from Bangkok it is worth to consider the bus as an alternative. 

Sihanoukville is the beach destination


and has no flights arriving, it needs to take a car, motorbike or bus. When traveling from Phnom Penh to the city or Kep, Kampot and maybe Koh Kong the bus is the preferred choice. It is very easy to cross the Cambodia border at Koh Kong do a minibus trip to Trat and from there with the bus to Pattaya or Bangkok.

Sre Ambel Day Trip

A trip to Sre Ambel Waterfall in the Cardamon Mountains

near the western main road to Phnom Penh is a step into Cambodia's wilderness. In this case into the cardamom mountains. When in the south of the country make this day trip, there are no temples but great nature. It is not a comfortable trip on your holiday plan it needs some hiking and take a local guide otherwise you get lost.

It needs a bit of an afford to make that trip but it's worth it. The countryside is exotic, when walking on the path through the scrub always watch where you step on there are some snakes and other small reptiles around. They wont do anything unless you care and don't do something first, use strong shoes.


On the way to Koh Kong
On the way to Koh Kong
Approaching Sre Ambel by Bus
Approaching Sre Ambel by Bus












Sre Ambel Day Trip
Sre Ambel Day Trip
Dirt bike day trip
Dirt bike day trip












 




sre ambel
Waterfall in the wilderness
water buffaloes playing
Water buffaloes playing
people gliding in small boats
People gliding in small boats

In the cardamon mountains











Just take the bus which moves between this two biggest cities of the country, make sure it is the one using the Koh Kong highway and get of at the place, the station is at the intersection where the road to the waterfall starts. Have a look around for a someone with a motorbike or scooter and negotiate a price. 

The best is to check at the repair shops there are always some people to ask. $ 20,- is a reasonable price because it's a rather long ride, mostly on a dirt road and after about an hour walk uphill on a trail through bamboo thickets.


sre ambel waterfall
Sre Ambel waterfall

All together after around two hours a deep ravine will appear at the left and the waterfall is visible. During the dry season there is no much water, for this the best visit is October through January although there is water all year round but it fluctuates.


In the Cardamon Mountains (1)
In the Cardamon Mountains (1)

On the dirt road to the waterfall


Trail to the waterfall
Trail to the waterfall
View over Sre Ambel
This is rural countryside north east of Koh Kong close to the road to Phnom Penh. 

Making a trip hire a guide from the bus station at the main road since it's easy to get lost in the Cardamon Mountains.

Cambodian Dirt Bike Trip
Dirt Bike Trail
Cambodian water buffaloes
Cambodian water buffaloes





A trip from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh

A trip from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by bus


From Koh Kong we start around 7 am and when we moved into the Cardamon Mountain the road got real bad one crater after the other, there are some road works but only minimal. Although this road was built by Thai military as a courtesy action some years ago it is totally broken up. 

This is nothing special because roads built by Thai people deteriorate after around one year that's the same in their own country, when they want to get some good roads they hire foreign companies because they cant handle that. 


A trip from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by bus
A trip from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by bus

From Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by bus
From Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by bus
At the Sri Ambel Bus Station
At the Sri Ambel Bus Station

Cambodian Thai Border

At the Cambodian Thai border

it is already visible that this is a micro cosmos different to other countries, it somehow reminds to Myanmar. But this will chance slowly, until a few years ago the road to Siem Reap was real bad, it’s better now (2014) but to drive is very dangerous since nobody cares about traffic rules, actually there are none.

The area behind the boundary is very flat, we pass a village from time to time and some buffaloes take water at a pond by the roadside. It's a very peaceful and tranquil scenery this was probably different during the terror of the lunatic Khmer Rouge. Comparing this to Thailand where we just came from is amazing and show what a group of ideologically misguided people can do, they were educated in France and got support from China.

Apsara Dance Girls at Angkor

A great example of Khmer Art are relief from Apsara Dance Girls

Relief cover parts of Angkor's temples with heavenly girls or Apsaras whose presence enhances the divinity of the temple. Their postures are very expressive female and definitely real eye candy, they are a distant copy of similar artwork from Hindu temples in India.


Apsara at Angkor Thom
Apsara at Angkor Thom
Apsara at Angkor Thom 1
Apsara at Angkor Thom
The freestanding reliefs figures make a great three-dimensional sandstone relief. It was one of the important Khmer free-standing art in form of sandstone sculptures, Khmer figures including nagas and garudas plus deities in deep relief, attached to buildings.


Modern Apsara Cambodian Dance Girls
Modern Apsara Cambodian Dance Girls
Apsara at Angkor Thom (1)
Apsara at Angkor Thom (1)

















Heavenly girls or Apsaras
Heavenly girls or Apsaras
Apsara Dancer at Angkor
Modern Apsara Dancer at 
Siem Reap's Temple Club











Contemporary heavenly girl or apsara


There are some places with dinner shows and an attractive dance performance in old Khmer and Angkor style. The best place to watch this is within a music and dance show in Pub street, Siem Reap is The Temple Club, now why? Because their show is real good, wont cost anything and has a Khmer orchestra as background which does an incredible job. There are also some more nightlife facilities there which finally brings a perfect evening pleasure.